Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Nicole Feighery from Insurance to give some advice for people considering this job:

Nicole Feighery

Customer Care Manager


Read more

Nicole Feighery
I would offer 3 pieces of advice:

- Have a open mind and embrace change in order to grow
- Believe in yourself and your team - anything is possible!
- Be a problem solver, any problem big or small has a solution if you commit to finding one.

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Occupation Details

logo imagelogo image


Job Zone

Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience plus specialist training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. They may also require very specialist skills. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

€49k > 92
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€49 - 92
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: April, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Commands or pilots a spacecraft, or serves as a crew member during a space mission.

Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Astronaut - from: European Space Agency [Video]

Go..Search YouTube for Astronaut videos

The Work header image

Astronauts are trained to fly or be crew members on spacecraft. As an astronaut your duties would normally be split into two areas: maintenance and repair of the spacecraft and scientific experimentation and research.

Astronauts need to maintain the spacecraft and make sure that the environment onboard supports life. Work would include repairing, maintaining and testing oxygen production systems cleaning and testing air filters as well as maintaining water systems and testing for bacterial growth. 

Work could also involve carrying out scientific experiments in space. This includes experiments designed to look at the effects of weightlessness on the body, or to explore how low gravity or ‘microgravity’ affects different processes.

Astronauts would set up and monitor experiments on the spacecraft such as growing ice crystals or developing space robotics. Communicating with Earth via satellite to transfer data back and send reports would also be required. 

As well as carrying out research and maintenance some of your time in outer space would be taken up with normal everyday things like sleeping, eating and washing, which can be challenging in a low gravity environment. This affects your muscles and bone density, so you would also spend around two and a half hours a day exercising.

You would also get some free time to do other things like contact your family by email or satellite video, watch TV or read. Employment opportunities can be found with the European Space Agency or NASA. 

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be an astronaut, you'll need a high level of physical fitness to help with life while in space such as the cramped living conditions and the effects of low gravity on the body. You’ll also need to work well as part of a team, be good at solving problems and have the ability to keep calm in emergencies.

The following are the qualities required for a career as an Astronaut: 

  • excellent scientific and/or flight skills
  • excellent physical condition and stamina
  • psychological strength to live in confined spaces for long periods
  • excellent teamworking skills
  • the ability to stay calm during an emergency
  • adaptability
  • self-control
  • the ability to cope well with stress
  • determination
  • adaptability and good judgement.

Entry Routesheader image

Astronauts must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. An advanced degree is desirable.

The European Space Agency (ESA) and US space agency NASA also require candidates to pass a strict physical exam and undergo training for the conditions and environments astronauts will encounter during launch, in space, and during landing. 

 Basic requirements for an Astronaut Pilot with NASA include the following:

1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics. An advanced degree is desirable. Quality of academic preparation is important.

2. At least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Flight test experience is highly desirable.

3. Ability to pass a NASA space physical which is similar to a military or civilian flight physical and includes the following specific standards:

  • Distant visual acuity: 20/100 or better uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 each eye.
  • Blood pressure: 140/90 measured in a sitting position.
  • Height between 62 and 75 inches.

The latest NASA recruitment round requires candidates to have at least three years of related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft.  For more information about a career as a NASA astronaut, and application requirements, see NASA Space Missions

Last Updated: November, 2015

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Astronaut - Video (Part 1) - from: YouTube
Go..Astronaut - Video (Part 2) - from: YouTube
Go..Astronaut - Video (Part 3) - from: YouTube

Related Occupationsheader image

No records

Contactsheader image


Organisation: European Space Education Resource Office Ireland (ESERO)
Address: Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
Tel: (01) 607 3014
Email: Click here
Url Click here

Job Search

Industry Expert

Career Articles

Dr Joseph Roche - Research Projects Coordinator
So you want to be an Astronaut

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Space Science & Technology

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database


Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 1